MIRAMSHAH / PESHAWAR, Jan 8: A senior Al Qaeda figure is believed to be among 12 people killed in two US drone strikes in Mirali area of the volatile North Waziristan tribal region on Monday night, a senior security official said.

Drones fired eight missiles on a house in Haiderkhel village, 30km from Miramshah, killing eight people. Among the dead were Sheikh Yasin Al Kuwaiti, a senior Al Qaeda operative, his wife and daughter, the official said.

Sheikh Yasin had married the daughter of a local tribesman, he added. “Eight missiles were fired on the compound he was living in with his family. His house has been turned into rubble.”

Unconfirmed reports from the region said the dead included two Uzbek militants.

Pakistani militants, who control the region bordering Afghanistan, cordoned off the area struck by the drones and took away the bodies and the wounded.

In the other strike that took place 15 minutes after the first one, four people were killed and two wounded at Hassokhel village in Mirali area. The villagers believe the dead were local militants.

There has been a surge in drone strikes in North and South Waziristan recently as there have been five such raids since the beginning of new year.

Maulvi Nazir, a militant commander having soft corner for Pakistan and who operated across the border in Afghanistan, was killed in such a strike last week.

AFP adds: The covert US drone strikes are publicly criticised by the Pakistani government as a violation of its sovereignty but American officials believe they are a vital weapon in the war against militants.

Legal lobby group Reprieve estimates that up to 900 civilians are among the 2,621 to 3,442 people killed by drones in Pakistan since 2004.

Opinion

Diverging paths
Updated 15 Apr 2021

Diverging paths

It seems that Imran Khan is feeling the pain of the adjustment that he has had to undertake.
Judging the judges
15 Apr 2021

Judging the judges

In the end, like Joan of Arc, they were made to pay with their blood.
People to people
Updated 15 Apr 2021

People to people

By facilitating access, the governments of India and Pakistan can start to build trust and understanding between the two publics.
Hostage to extremism
Updated 14 Apr 2021

Hostage to extremism

Once again, the TLP has succeeded in bringing the administration to its knees.

Editorial

Afghanistan exit
Updated 15 Apr 2021

Afghanistan exit

Afghanistan has suffered for decades as powerful local players have refused to compromise and have insisted on hogging power.
15 Apr 2021

New census

EARLIER this week, the Council of Common Interests approved the controversial National Population and Housing ...
15 Apr 2021

With no place to go

No matter where one looks, one can’t escape the heartrending sight of scores of children of all ages begging, ...
TLP protests
Updated 14 Apr 2021

TLP protests

For the good of the country, and its image as a nation where extremism has no place, such groups must be strictly reined in.
14 Apr 2021

PPP’s formal exit

THE PPP’s formal resignation from all offices of the PDM comes as no surprise after weeks of tension and public...
14 Apr 2021

Natanz attack

AS the P5+1 and Iran try to breathe life back into the JCPOA, as the nuclear deal is officially known, it appears...